ClexaCon 2017: Lexa’s Flame Reignites in a Fandom

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LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 03: A digital artwork dedicated to the character Lexa from ‘The 100’ television series is displayed during ClexaCon 2017 convention at Bally’s Las Vegas on March 3, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

ClexaCon, a convention focusing on queer representation in the media, has come and gone, but it’s lit a fire within us all to demand better.

March 3, 2016- the night a lot of lives changed, the night the promise of a strong, resilient, powerful, lesbian leader was ripped from a fandom, the night Commander Lexa from The CW’s The 100 took her last breath. But while Lexa lost her fight that night, the queer community’s fight was only just beginning.

I remember everything about it- the wind being knocked out of me, the weight of the world heavy on my heart. It was a feeling I’d never felt before, unrecognizable and untreatable. At that point, I knew nobody else in my life who watched this show, who had just felt this loss, this sting. I needed someone who understood. I think we all did.

“The whole time I was there I kept thinking, everyone here knows what I went through.” -@Deb_Renee

Fast forward to exactly one year later. March 3, 2017. I found myself sitting in a room, surrounded by people who understood, who got it. These people, I’d only just met but I felt like I’d known them a lifetime. Where have you people been all my life? I thought to myself as I looked around the room during the opening panel, Lexa’s Legacy. How did you people go from my mutual twitter friends to my family in the matter of months? 

"“Each friend I met for the first time, after knowing them and loving them so hard from afar, felt like a homecoming.” –@krystalarrow “It wasn’t just a gathering of people because of a ship, it was a family reunion among friendships built over the last year”. –@SofiaRojasOne7 via tumblr “Being at ClexaCon was like Nirvana. I felt so safe and at home, and I didn’t feel different or alone. I saw a glimpse of what society could be like.” –@freegolaw"

How did I get so lucky to have found you?  I kept thinking.

ClexaCon was about three weeks ago now and it’s honestly taken me that long to figure out how I could possibly use words to explain the significance of it. And the truth is, I can’t. Because this entire movement, this fight towards better representation is bigger than just one person.

“We weren’t just there for the shows. We were there for what the shows did for us.” -@fmnieves13

It’s bigger than me trying to explain what Lexa’s death meant. It’s bigger than me writing an article quoting the celebrities from South of Nowhere or Wynonna Earp or Carmilla or Lost Girl or Person of Interest that openly spoke out about it. It’s bigger than me fangirling about the women from these shows that felt as though this event was important enough to attend. It’s bigger than all of this. Because ClexaCon was never about any of that- ClexaCon was about reigniting Lexa’s flame within the fandom, and I think we can all agree that that’s exactly what it did.

"“This tidal wave of support and love for one another was filling up all of my social media platforms and I decided to ride on this wave and do something. I think by the end of the con, I had a whole new outlook on my writing and how it can (hopefully) impact our community for the better. It’s given me a purpose in my writing that I’ve never felt before and I don’t think it came at a better time.” –@WristWritten11 “ClexaCon has really accentuated the power that writers and content creators hold, and the disappointment audiences feel when that power is abused. Writers have a responsibility to reflect the society that we live in and yet, diverse content is still so scarce. […] ClexaCon gave me hope and a sense of purpose that I’ve been missing for quite some time.” –@elyzalexa via tumblr “To be surrounded by people from all over the globe, united in their passion for the betterment of a commonly marginalized community, was nothing short of inspiring. It was a weekend filled with positivity, love, inclusion, and hope.” –@beakman79 “I’m feeling very appreciative that the issue of burying gays was the topic of conversation. […] A young trans person mentioned not feeling seen or represented in media or television, and it occurred to me at the time, that most of us in the room were not represented either.” –@Wenschz1 “Walking into ClexaCon just felt like there were hundreds of people I could just start a conversation with. It’s rare to find that level of comfort and acceptance sometimes. […] In a way, we saw ourselves represented in each other and that’s what really drove home, for me, why representation in the media matters most.” –@justthe1dear"